The Motherboard of Invention
As Grist reported Monday, discarded electronic equipment poses a serious environmental and health hazard in the developing world, where obsolete computers and other products are stripped and recycled. Now, we have some good news to add; 16 electronics recyclers in the U.S. and Canada have committed to keeping monitors, cables, and motherboards out of the hands of impoverished Third World workers, who enjoy few if any labor protections. In addition, the recyclers said they would keep track of recycled parts, do business with environmentally conscious companies, and keep toxic products out of landfills, incinerators, and prisons, where inmates are paid next to nothing to dismantle them. It is unclear how many electronics recyclers there are; Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition Executive Director Ted Smith said the 16 signers were “less than half, but more than a token number.”
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